Tsukasa Hojo.jpg
Tsukasa Hojo.jpg
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van Gogh.jpg





Mark Bagley

Mark Bagley is an American comic book artist. He was born on August 7, 1957 into a military family in Frankfurt, Germany. He studied at the Ringling College of Art and Design. His aim was to break into the comic book industry. While he was trying to find an appropriate job, he had a serious accident which caused a severe leg injury; as a result, now he cannot walk properly. Mark has a wife Pattie and a daughter called Angie.

 Bagley was 27 (1983) years old and living in Marietta, Georgia when Marvel Comics created the Marvel Try-out Book competition to draw new talent into the comic book industry. The contest involved a deconstructed comic book which contestants could complete and submit to the publisher. Bagley was reluctant to enter the contest, but a good friend of his handed him the book and persuaded Mark to enter the contest. Bagley won and became a member of Marvel Comics. In the beginning, he had some poorly detailed jobs, but after a while, The Amazing Spider-Man changed everything. After a rough start, Bagley hit his stride on The Amazing Spider-Man and eventually grew to be considered the definitive Spider-Man artist of the mid-1990s.

In 2000, Marvel was planning to re-launch its primary franchises in a way that would make them accessible to newer readers. Ultimate Spider-Man was a title that began the Spider-Man mythos from the beginning set in modern times. Bagley was assigned to this title with writer Brian Michael Bendis. They went on to enjoy the longest continuous run of any creative team on a mainstream Marvel superhero comic, beating the record set by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby with Ultimate Spider-Man #103 (published in December 2006). Bagley left his “child” with issue #111 in July 2007. His long and successful run on Ultimate Spider-Man earned him the recognition in Wizard Magazine's top ten artists of the 00's. Ranked #2 on the list, article writer Mark Allen Haverty noted of Bagley, "no other artist came close to the number of comics Bagley sold {in the 2000's}, nor the number of Top 20 comics he was a part of."

In 2008, Bagley signed an exclusive three-year contract with DC Comics. But in 2011, he ended his collaboration with DC and returned to Marvel and Ultimate Spider-Man, by then known as Ultimate Comics: Spider-Man. He and Brian Michael Bendis brought an end of the 10 year-old series with a dramatic conclusion, the eventful "Death of Spider-Man" arc in issues #156-160. The cycle was complete: what started in 2001 with the two main creators has finally come to an end.

His style is really difficult to define. Bagley can re-create human emotions and environment so extraordinarily, that the reader usually stares at the pictures and stops for a moment. This technique of his is quite unique. His portrayal of characters in the last twenty years has changed. He became more sensitive and he usually re-creates some old panels (previous sketches). He usually draws around 2-3 pages a day, then he has to move on to other panels, and that is the moment when the outliner and inker (usually his friend and college, Art Thibert) come into the picture and continues the creation.

The reason why I chose this picture from the thousands of Bagley’s works is that it is the only one that can describe my feelings most perfectly concerning comic books. My first experience with this industry was at the age of seven, when my mother bought the 100th issue of the Hungarian version of this comic with the cover drawn by Bagley. From that moment on I am a huge fan of (mostly) American comic books, especially Spider-Man. These comics mean a lot to me, they can be as emotional as novels or movies; moreover, they can engage my mind and also move my heart. I have spent fourteen years of my life dedicated to comic books, thus for me, there is one and only comic book artist who can deliver Spider-Man the way it is meant to be, and his name is Mark Bagley. Adam Bata


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Robert Capa (1913- 1954)

ITALY. 1944.   

Drivers from the French ambulance corps near the front, waiting to be called. 

Original album: Italy. Cassino Campaign. W.W.II.

Copyright: 2001 By Cornell Capa, Agentur Magnum


ROBERT CAPA (born as Endre Friedmann, 1913, Budapest) was a freelance combat photographer and photojournalist. He came from a Hungarian jewish family,and as a teenager was a member of "Munkakör”, a group of socialist and avantgard artists. He had to leave Hungary at the age of 18, after being arrested and jailed for regularly demonstrating against the repressive regime of Miklós Horthy. He moved to Berlin, and studied political science there, as he originally wanted to be a writer. There he met with both loves of his life: Gerda Taro, a Polish Jewish photojournalist, and photography. In 1933 they moved to Paris because of the Nazi regime in Germany, and settled there. They started to work for Allience Photo, and invented the name and the persona of Robert Capa (comes from his nickname, ’cápa’= ’shark’), the ’famous American photographer’. Although Capa hated war, he covered the horror of five wars in his life: the Spanish Civil War (his fiancée, Gerda was killed during it, in a battle near Madrid), the Second Sino-Japanese war, World War II. (he took pictures in London, North-Africa, Italy, of the Battle of Normandy in Omaha Beach, and of the Liberation of Paris), the 1st Indochina war (he died there stepping on a landmine, in 1954). Before his death he emigrated to New York.

Capa was a very captivating personality, made friends with big artists such as Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Henri Matisse, during the years he was taking photographs of them. Also, among his lovers were Vivien Leigh,and Ingrid Bergman, the beauty-symbols of that time.

One of his most famous photographs is ’The Falling Soldier’ (the picture of a Loyalist soldier who has been fatally wounded in the Spanish Civil War), which became the powerful symbol of war and earned his international reputation.
In December, 1938, Picture Post introduced ‘The Greatest War Photographer in the World: Robert Capa’ with 26 photos from the Spanish Civil War.

In 1947, he founded Magnum Photos with Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. It is still the biggest cooperative agency for worldwide freelance photographers. His most famous saying is that ’If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.’ Since 1955, they annually hold the Robert Capa Gold Medal Award to reward the photographer who provides ‘the best published photographic reporting from abroad, requiring exceptional courage and enterprise’.

I chose to hold my presentation on him because, in my opinion, neither before nor after him could anyone take such lively pictures and show whole stories within one shot.  As today’s experts in the field say ‘he redefined wartime photojournalism by putting emphasis on the Living instead of the Dead’. Also, he tried to show the triumph of human spirit over war, showing the real horror of war without putting any blood or shocking scenes in his pictures.

The photograph I chose was taken in 1944 in Italy, 32 miles south of Rome and is about ’Drivers of the French ambulance corps near the fighting zone, waiting to be called’. This isn’t one of Capa’s most famous photographs, but it is a typical one of him. In the black and white picture there are two women waiting at the jip to be called, calmly knitting, with a tiny smile on the corner of their face, showing that this is the activity that helps them switch off. They are wearing uniform, but under that they are just two ordinary housewives. If we don’t look at the background, they could be sitting in their favourite armchair in their living room, waiting for the dinner to get ready. Still, this picture perfectly shows the horror of the war with knowing that this scene actually cannot happen, they are not sitting in their armchairs at home, but they are actually waiting for someone to die or get fatally wounded.

His friend, John Steinbeck (American writer) wrote about him: ‘Capa knew you cannot photograph war, because it is largely an emotion. However, he did photograph that emotion by shooting beside it. He could show the horror of a whole people in the face of a child.’ Eszter Farkas


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Salvador Dali

The Persistence of Memory

Catalonian surrealist painter Salvador Dalí was born in 1904. By the age of 27, he completed the painting he is best-known for: The Persistence of Memory. Dalí himself referred to his paintings as: “hand painted dream photographs.” Most people associate surrealism with this painting or simply: with Dalí.

  The surrealist movement developed out from the dada movement in the 1920s, in France. Main features of surrealist technique include the usage of surprising and unexpected elements. Melting clocks, a dream-like landscape of Cape Creus, a strange, deformed self portrait, and ants attacking a pocket watch; these are the main figures in Dalí’s painting. Not only do the objects seem juxtaposed, but also the light and dark parts of the picture seem to be swapped: the foreground is shadowed and a straight diagonal line marks the background that is lit by light. The melting clocks are intensifying the dream-like or even hallucination close state the viewer experiences when looking at the painting. The melting clocks represent the irrelevance of time during sleep, and yet, there is the pocket watch that is attacked by ants, that represents the anxiety people associate with time, even when they are asleep. Dalí came up with the idea of painting melting clocks after he saw a plate of camembert cheese melting in the sun. He continued to use the attacking ants in his later works.

According to psychologists, the picture represents that time does not persist during sleep, only memories do; that is also the reason why the foreground is in shadow (representing the subconscious) and the background is lit by light (representing the conscious).

I chose this painting because I had been fascinated by Dalí’s art since high school. I was introduced to his work by my art teacher when I was 14. People tend to either hate Salvador Dalí or love him; I definitely belong to the latter group. Eszter Tóth




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Attila Dargay (1927-2009)

Vuk (1981)


This is a still from a very famous Hungarian animated cartoon, Vuk. That was created by Attila Dargay, who was not only the drawer of the cartoon, but the director of the film, as well. Attila Dargay was born in 1927, in Mezőnyék. He studied at the Hungarian Arts College and in 1951 he started to work as a scenery painter in the Hungarian National Theatre. He always wanted to be more than a scenery painter, so in the same year he started to work with cartoons also. His favourite figures were always the animals. He himself said that he sees animals as human beings and whenever he looks at a person he immediately tries to find what kind of animal he or she reminds the drawer of.

This Hungarian artist in his works used the same method to draw figures that is used in Disney cartoons. It means that the bodies of the figures are built up from circles and are not fully drawn first. This method makes it much easier to create moving figures and helps to concentrate on the facial expressions of the characters.

This picture that I have chosen shows the two main characters (Vuk and Karak) from the cartoon Vuk, published in 1981 and based on a novel by István Fekete, which has the same title as the animated cartoon. Eszter Filep




Andy Denzler

Andy Denzler (born in 1965, Zurich) is a Swiss artist. His works consist of painting, screen printing, printing, graphic design, sculpture and drawing. He attended Kunsgewerbeschule and the F&F Schule für Gestaltund in Zurich, the University of California in Los Angeles, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and then he graduated from Chelsea College of Art and Design in London.

Denzler works have been exhibited in one person shows and group shows in Europe, America and since 2010 in Russia. He presents his own perception of the world through his works with a borderline between fiction and reality.

Distorted Fragments, People in Motion: In Denzler’s work there are various dynamic elements overlapping. His paintings are not narrative art.  The people on these paintings are not „saying” much about themselves, virtually all is left to the viewer’s imagination. The oil paintings aim to reinterpret photography and film stills.

Denzler told "I’m pushing the boundaries and possibilities of abstract and photorealism. It’s as if I’ve pressed the fast-forward on a video machine, then hit the pause button, so reality comes to a stand-still. I speed up and slow down the colors. What remains is a distorted moment, classically painted, oil on canvas, which, upon closer inspection is very abstract, but from distance looks real.”

Denzler’s works move between Photorealism and Abstract Expressionism. He is heavily influenced by Andy Warhol’s screen tests of the 1960’s and Julian Schnabel’s The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. 

I chose to present his art because more people should know about these works. For me, these paintings can be calming or inspiring as well. According to Denzler, his main challenge is creating a „ painting that describes the every day and the monstrous simultaneously" and the „believability” of the image. Bernadett Vezse


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H.R. Giger (1940- )

Erotomechanics VII

H.R. Giger, (born in 1940 in Chur, Switzerland) is recognized as one of the most prominent artists  of Fantastic Realism.  He is best known for his design for the film Alien. As a chemist, his father wanted him to choose the same profession, and regarded art as something that is completely useless. However, Giger was an autonomous personality so in 1962 he decided to move to Zurich in order to study architecture and industrial design at the School of Applied Arts. His first artworks were born around this time. They were mostly oil paintings and ink drawings. These were exhibited in his first exhibition in 1966. Not much time later he discovered the airbrush and along with it he invented his unique style characterized by a freehand painting. He started to create his most well known works depicting surrealistic, biomechanical dreamscapes. In 1977 his most famous book, Necronomicon  was published. This book was the one that visually inspired Ridley Scott's  Alien. His design for the film which included the design of the film's title character and all stages of it's lifecycle along with all the extraterrestrial environments earned him an Oscar in 1980 for the Best Achievement in Visual Effects. Since then he worked in several other films such as Poltergeist II (1986), Alien 3 (1992), and Prometheus (2012), the freshest episode of the Alien series. From the very beginning of his career he also worked as a sculptor. He also has a bar called the Giger Bar Museum, located in a 400-years old space which is transformed into one his skeletal-like biomechanical sites.

Looking at his artworks one might ask what are the forces that lead to such result. Giger is suffering from night terrors which is not to be confused with simple nightmares. It is a serious sleeping disorder, that is usually associated with mental and personality disorders such as schizophrenia and borderline syndrome. As he said in one the interviews, his works are strongly influenced by his returning dreams. He also considers his art as a therapy that helps him to understand and process the attacks of his subconscious. Women and sexuality are also important themes of his works. His female characters are always godly and beautiful but at the same time somehow evil and frightening.

The picture I've chosen is Erotomechanics VII. The reason why I picked this one is because I think it contains all of his stylistical marks. The interconnected relationship of man and machine in the picture is instantly obvious.  There is also a strange sexual relationship between the two figures. This relationship is also mechanical. They are both part of the same machine but there is a distance between them. We have the impression that they never really touch each other. They are in a symbiosis but at the same time alien to each other. The cold greyish colors also fortify this impression. 

Many consider Giger as vulgar and cheap. In my opinion the reason behind this is that  his art shows some similarity with science-fiction themed works such as cheap book covers produced by people who copy his style. However, I think that his uniqueness and consistency in his art distinct him from the others trying to do something similar. He is also an honest artist who choose really personal themes and depicts them in a bare and unmodified way. I think this kind of self expression deserves the label  “art”. His works are unmistakably recognizable at anytime. I find him a very interesting and sensitive artist with a strong personal perspective. Máté Müller


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Tibor Hajas (1946-1980)

Felületkínzás I. Érzékek (1978)

photo, paper, 24 x 30 cm

Hungarian National Gallery

Tibor Hajas (born Tibor Frankl, 1946-1980) was a Hungarian neo-avantgarde artist dealing with different genres such as fine arts, performance, literature, photography, and film. He is lesser known by the wide public, is a sort of underground figure, but regarded by those familiar with his oeuvre as a remarkable and unique artist. He attended ELTE to study English but eventually never completed his studies there, and went on to learn book-binding afterwards. Primarily regarded by himself as a poet, he released his first literary pieces in 1967, also, it was around that time he began his work as a visual artist (he never had any formal education in that field). Within neo-avantgarde, his works can mainly be associated with the movements of performance art (body art), and conceptual art.

The picture I chose to present is part of the series of ‘photo works’ (as the artist would refer to them, as opposed to photographs) called ‘Felületkínzás’, which could roughly be translated as ‘surface torture’. It is one of the many collaborations with Hajas’s friend, János Vető, who actually made the photos of the artist. The reason for this distinguished name coined by Hajas and Vető is that these works were meant not to be considered photographs, but the means to reveal how photographs act. The above mentioned art movements can be seen here: it is body art (that is regarded as a subtype of performance art), as he uses his own physique as a means of self-expression. It also falls into the category of conceptual art because it is not the aesthetic value that is of primary importance, but rather the underlying idea expressed through it. What he aims to attract attention to is the nature of photography (as mentioned above), what it is (like): one can take a look at a photograph, and take for granted what it suggests, whereas it might as well have been manipulated, or simply taken out of its original context, thus got an altered meaning. Related to the series’ title, it implies that what is visible on the surface (here specifically, the burn marks that seem to be part of the subject depicted) is there by some additional manipulation, some artificial work. These were made in the way that first, a picture was taken, and then ‘injured’ by fire, so as to create the impression the fire was essential component of it.

The reason for my choosing this picture: I do not have a favourite artist, nor a work of art of that kind, and consider myself not too familiar with fine arts, so I decided on a piece that might not appeal to me, but which has made an emotional impact on me, and made me think. My first encounter with his work and this particular piece did not provoke any positive response in me, moreover, I rather had a bit of a mixture of negative feelings towards it: what sense does it make, what aesthetic qualities does it have? I had a notion of misunderstanding and even abhorrence at first. However, having got to know about its rationale, its background made me appreciate it, even if it does not please my eye. I find it intriguing how aesthetics is not always over meaning, and how the excellence and the expression of an idea can be in a way aesthetic, too. Dóra Galambosi



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Friedensreich Hundertwasser (1928-2000)

Hide Under the Meadow it begins to Rain, 1976

Etching and aquatint in colours, 7x11.7 in.


Friedensreich Hundertwasser (born as Friedrich Stowasser, 1928-2000) was an Austrian artist. After the tough years of the Second World War he attended the Academy of Fine Arts, in Vienna. During these three months, he began to sign his works as Hundertwasser instead of Stowasser, since ‘sto’ is a Slavic word which he translated into German (it stands for ‘one hundred’). It was in 1952-53 when his first commercial painting success came with an exhibition in Vienna. He experimented not only in the field of paintings, but also in the field of architecture and applied art (created flags, stamps, and posters). Hundertwasser had no studio at all and he did not paint at an easel. He liked experimenting with new techniques. Furthermore, he used different types of papers and noted the technical information about the work on both the front and the back of his paintings. Hundertwasser was the founder of the so-called transautomatism which is a kind of surrealism. Despite of focusing on an objective interpretation of a work of art, transautomatism emphasizes the viewer’s fantasy as different people interpret the same picture in a different way. Hundertwasser strongly rejected straight lines and called them the “devil’s tools” which was an essential component of his style.

The title of this piece of art is Hide Under the Meadow it begins to Rain. It is and etching and aquatint in colours which resembles an ink drawing washed with watercolor. The main features of Hundertwasser’s style, such as the bright colours, the organic forms, and the reconciliation of humans with nature (the face), can be easily recognized in this picture.  

On his webpage the artist wrote about himself that he wanted to paint a paradise that each person may have. Moreover, he filled a picture until it was full with magic. When I look at this picture I feel that everything is all right. I imagine myself living in this picture, in this paradise which makes me calm, so these are my reasons for choosing this particular piece. Nóra Takács


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Gustav Klimt

"The Kiss",


For Gustav Klimt, it was normal to work in his studio from early morning until evening without a break, and the year 1907 was no exception. Before long, countless sketches covered the floor. But Klimt complained repeatedly about the difficulties of his work. He wrote in a letter: "Either I am too old, or too nervous, or too stupid - there must be something wrong." Nevertheless, this year was to be one of the most productive of his life. Klimt completed, among other works, the painting The Kiss, which was to take its place as one of the most famous pictures in the history of art.

The theme of a pair of lovers, united through a kiss, was one that occupied Klimt throughout his career. Variations on this theme can be found early on in his works reflecting his increased emphasis on ornamentation and the use of gold leaf, represented an important artistic precursor to his most famous painting. The inspiration for his "Golden Phase", which culminated with The Kiss, was presumably provided by a visit to Ravenna during his travels through Italy in 1903, which introduced him to the world of Byzantine mosaics. But Klimt was also influenced by contemporary painters: the abstract, decorative style of the Dutch Symbolist Jan Theodor must be mentioned here, as well as the Belgian Symbolist painter Fernand Khnopff.

There have been numerous attempts to identify the woman portrayed in The Kiss. Those mentioned have included Klimt's life-long partner Emilie Flöge, but also Adele Bloch-Bauer. The subject's well-proportioned facial features reveal a similarity to many of the women that Klimt portrayed, but ultimately they cannot be unequivocally attributed to a particular person.

In the painting a couple is depicted embracing in a field of flowers. The man is bent over the woman, and she - clinging tightly to him - awaits his kiss. In terms of ornamentation, the male figure is characterized by square and rectangular forms, while in the case of the female soft lines and floral patterns are dominant. A golden halo surrounds the couple, but it ends at the bare feet of the female, whose toes are sharply bent and firmly dug into the flower-covered meadow. At the same time, however, the couple seems to have shaken off this last remnant of earthly weight and has been transported into another infinite, almost sacred sphere, reminiscent indeed of the gold background of Byzantine mosaics.

When Klimt presented the painting to the public for the first time, in 1908, it was acquired - still unfinished - directly from the exhibition by the Austrian Gallery. This painting represents the centrepiece of the world's largest collection of works by Gustav Klimt, located in the Austrian Gallery in Vienna's Upper Belvedere Palace.

The reason why I chose this piece is the daily encounters I referred to in class but also because of its reputation. There have been several judgments regarding him as an artist but still, his works are characterized as classics with many possible interpretations. György Taragos



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Gustav Adolf Mossa

Elle (1905) / (1906?)

80 cm x 63 cm

Museum:Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, Nice


Gustav-Adolf Mossa (1883-1971), was a French Symbolist painter under the influence of Gustave Moreau, Lucien Levy-Dhurmer, Edgar Maxence, Emile-Rene Menard and his father, Alexis Mossa. He was impregnated by his readings, Mallarme, Baudelaire, Huysmans, and he was inspired by masters of the Quattrocento, the Pre-Raphaelites, Art Nouveau with which he got acquainted at l'École des arts décoratifs from 1900 onwards.

He painted extensively for fifteen years until 1918 using mostly watercolours, but most of his Symbolist works were discovered after his death because he did not want to expose them until then. He found inspiration in the work of the great writers, especially Baudelaire. His works were often dramatic compositions, often caricatured, analyzing situations in life showing a certain psychological insight. The work of Gustav-Adolf Mossa is a set of references to myths, fables. He handled them like a psychoanalyst: conflicts of life instincts and impulses of death, Eros and Thanatos, especially in the depiction of Salome - an icon of dangerous female seductiveness - that haunts almost all the Symbolists, but also in those of Sappho and Delilah.

Until he abandoned his distinctive symbolist style in 1911, in favour of more primitive Flemish-style works, he created some of the most disturbing and intricate paintings with the Woman appearing in his work as perverse by nature.

Misogyny is the hatred or dislike of women or girls. According to feminist theory, misogyny can be manifested in numerous ways, including sexual discrimination, violence against women, and sexual objectification of women. Misogyny has been characterised as a prominent feature of the mythologies of the ancient world as well as various religions.

A femme fatale (phrase is French for "deadly woman") is a mysterious and seductive woman whose charms ensnare her lovers in bonds of irresistible desire, often leading them into compromising, dangerous, and deadly situations. . In some situations she uses lying or coercion rather than charm. She is an archetype of literature and art. Her ability to entrance and hypnotise her victim with a spell was in the earliest stories seen as being literally supernatural; hence, the femme fatale today is still often described as having a power akin to an enchantress, seductress, vampire, witch, or demon.

A succubus (a form of a femme fatale) would seduce men and drain them of blood following intercourse which makes them resemble the vampires of old times.

I chose this picture because in my opinion creating something beautiful about a happy or pretty theme or topic is much easier than grasping the darker side of life or the more negative feelings and topics. This particular painting is fascinating to me because Elle is beautiful in such a cruel way that we just have to remember her for years. The picture itself contains several details which underline these darkness of hers like the Death which permeates the air around her like a perfume or her mercilessness.

Going from the top of the picture downwards the first part that catches our eyes are the ravens in her hair, which are the birds of bad omen and Death. The ravens are looking at the skulls on top of her head which both represent Death in general and the hopelessness of life, because the three skulls facing in different directions represent and overshadow the Past, Present, and the Future.

The golden halo around her head is slightly blasphemous because of her nakedness, the dead men, and her role in murdering these men, but it could represent that of women have an overall saint-like image despite that they can be just as vicious as men, if not more so. Her jewellery, which indicates that she is at least moderately wealthy, is completely made up of skulls, which could have been her earlier lovers who were most probably murdered by her previously. While she has big breasts which stand for youth, fertility, and eroticism, in her lap there is a darker patch which could be a kind of rat-like animal which is the symbol of destruction thus making her lap a metaphor of doom for men being foolish enough to fall for her.

Last, but not least, the whole bottom of the picture is made up of mutilated and assumedly dead men – probably her earlier love victims – while she sits upon them like a twisted queen on her even more perverse throne. Evelin Koller

 Sources: - French





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István Sándorfi

Motus motus hommage ŕ la culture, 2000.2001

Oil on Canvas  H 130 cm. (51.2 in); W162 cm (63.8)


István Sándorfi (In French Étienne Sandorfi, born 12 June 1948 in Budapest, Hungary died 26 December 2007 in Paris, France) was a Hungarian hyperrealist painter. He was also known as the “ghost hyperrealist”.

During the communist regime in Hungary, his father was arrested and freed only a few days before the revolution of 1956. In the same year the family left Hungary. They finally settled in France. Greatly affected by the violence of the revolution and the political system in general, István started drawing. At the age of 12, he started oil painting. He was only 17 years old when he had his first individual exhibition at a small gallery in Paris. A couple of years later, he gained a degree at the School of Decorative Arts in Paris. From that day on, he painted oil paintings for a living. From 1988 onwards his paintings began to be a real success and were purchased for approximately, 70-80 000 Euros per piece until his death, on 26 December 2007 in Paris, France.

He considered himself a hyperrealist only in his mind, therefore rather a realist who likes the truth. His early, disturbing self-portraits gave him the reputation of a painter who paints like an assassin. The colours he mostly used during this era were blue, lilac and their cold combinations. During those years he was misunderstood and considered as a narcissist. From 1988 he changed his style and started to paint mainly female models.

He personally preferred pictures taken of models and projected on a slide, rather than working with real ones. In his paintings he used strange objects, movements and situations. As he said, his work is simply the transfer of his own feelings and mood through concrete things. When he made his models or a part of their body dissolve on canvas by varying the colour saturation and intensity he created a ghost effect or a feeling of unreality. Therefore by painting or not painting for example the eyes of the model he tried to reflect on its property, the sense of sight, rather than its beauty.

Despite the fact that Sándorfi was one of the best realist painters I have ever seen; with his digital image-like technique, I have chosen a painting that is technically rather less realistic but closer to me in its message. It is titled Motus motus, hommage a la culture (Motus motus tribute to culture) and was painted in 2001 for personal reasons. The two dogs are eating the paint, pallet and are biting even their own tails. The dogs are transformed collectors so called “corpse eaters”.

 A “corpse eater”, according to Sándorfi, is a collector who buys every single piece of work by a painter who is very old. The reason they do this is obvious: after the painter’s death the prices of the works go up, because the artist won’t be able to produce any more. He hated the fact that after his death these “corpse eaters” would collect his work and it wouldn’t be presented somewhere in a gallery. So the paintings’ inherent meaning would be that these collectors are living form the art and paintings like animals. Gergely Szekfű




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Amy Shackleton (b. Toronto, 1986), 

Building Skyward, 2010,

Acrylic and enamel on canvas, 45 x 60 in.


Amy Shackleton is a contemporary Canadian artist, born in 1985. In her pictures she redefines the relationship of the natural and the artificial by means of a special technique that utilizes gravity.

Her time-lapse video on YouTube highlighting her painting process made her famous among over 1,000,000 people. Documenting the painter in the act of painting is not a new idea: Hans Namuth’s controversial 1951 film of Jackson Pollock at work had the same concept. While Shackleton’s video distantly references the ontological structure of Namuth’s film, her paintings clearly borrow from Pollock’s now-mythical mode of painting. In Shackleton’s work, Pollock’s “drip” technique, where he dribbled and splashed paint onto the canvas, is revived for the modern day. She can also rotate her canvas with the help of a special rotating easel mounted on her studio’s wall to guide each drip as it falls down.

Her paintings are based on the photos she takes during her travels to places such as Croatia, London and across Canada. She uses photo manipulation, layers the photos using at least one city and one nature image to develop the layout of the painting, and so the landscapes are blended until the real world fades and an optimistic vision of the future emerges.

This painting clearly reflects her general concept which is the combination of the city and nature, employing gravity as an aesthetic device. It has the buildings as the urban, and the trees which stand for the natural, rural environment. The lack of brushwork helps to achieve a more natural and organic energy flow through the picture. Also, the vibrant colours suggest liveliness and dynamism.

This picture as well as her general artwork can be characterised as seminal, since by means of suggesting hope for a sustainable future she creates a captivating concept that is utopia devoid of distress and gloom. Her works are filled with energy and enthusiasm, all of them being so robust and made with such a precision that no one would suspect that they weren’t made with brush strokes.

Shackleton received her BFA Honours Degree from York University in 2008. In 2009 she won multiple People's Choice Awards in Toronto. She is represented by the Elaine Fleck Gallery in Toronto and the Gerry Thomas Gallery in Calgary. Anett Totiván




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George Stubbs (1724-1806)

Whistlejacket, 1762

292 cm x 246,4 cm, oil-on-canvas


George Stubbs (1724-1806) was an English painter whose portraits of different animals are still known among the best and most detailed portraits ever made. Early on he was taught by Hamlet Winstanley but he soon got fed up with all the copying and rather started to teach himself. Stubbs was interested in anatomy from his childhood and he studied the construction of the human body at York County Hospital. In 1754 he visited Italy, which had a great impact on his later work.

Stubbs is most famous for his paintings of horses. He studied the anatomy of horses thoroughly and he published The Anatomy of the Horse in 1766. These studies enabled him to paint really realistic pictures of horses. His last project, A comparative anatomical exposition of the structure of the human body with that of a tiger and a common fowl remained unfinished due to Stubbs’ death in1806 .

Whistlejacket is probably the most famous horse portrait by Stubbs, although other paintings like Horse Attacked by a Lion are famous and brilliant works of art, as well. Whistlejacket was the racehorse of Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, who commissioned the painting. Due to its completely blank background, the oil-on-canvas painting was rumoured to be only a first part of a completed equestrian portrait of George III; however, as Stubbs had other works like this, this rumour is most probably not more than that. The blank background helps the viewer to completely focus on the shape of the prancing horse. As it can be expected from Stubbs, the portrait is anatomically accurate and very detailed compared to most horse-portraits. The powerful physical presence of the horse is also helped by the blank background; the painting is almost statue-like.

I chose this painting to present because when I first saw it in the National Gallery in London, this had the greatest impact on me; great enough to look for further information after it. Dávid Koczó



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Maggie Taylor


American Digital Artist Maggie Taylor was born in Cleveland, Ohio.  She received her BA degree in philosophy from Yale University in 1983 and her MFA degree in photography from the University of Florida in 1987. After more than ten years as a still life photographer (and working with a film camera), it was only in 1996 that she began to use the computer to create her images. Ever since, she uses two working tools: her flatbed scanner and Adobe Photoshop.  Her studio (which is nearby her house and takes only a few minutes to reach) is full of quirky 19th century photographs, taxidermy specimens, mounted insects, vintage toys, sea shells, feathers and other artefacts she finds at flea markets, antique stores or even in online auctions. With the help of scanning these objects and editing them in Photoshop, she creates unique still-life collages, thus producing little dreamlike worlds inhabited by everyday objects. She mentions her style as ‘fabricated photography’, as she starts the whole process with an old photograph. After that she adds the tiny details, different objects that she scanned one-by-one. If an item is rusty, cracked, chipped or faded, it is all the better, because it looks older and it is more interesting. As she described once, the computer helps her bridge the gap between her imagination and the real world. Her creations are mainly inspired by childhood memories, dreams, or just something she saw outside on the street.

My personal favourite of her images is the one titled ‘The Experience’. I have spent a lot of time searching for some descriptions or interpretations of this picture, but suddenly it dawned upon me that it is just like a dream. We see it, feel it, it sticks in our minds, but we can hardly ever see the point in it. This is nice, because the intention of the artist was just the same; she wanted to create ambiguous pictures that divide people. So, for me this picture symbolises the relationship between human and nature, and I think that the ghostlike girl in the middle is just like Mother Nature surrounded by her creatures.

I chose Maggie Taylor because she is one of my favourite digital artists. With her unique style and odd technique, I believe that she is a real modern magician ( or even a Maggiecian) of images. Gina Dombai



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Tsukasa Hojo (1986?)

Ryo Saeba & Kaori Makimura


Cover art for volume 11, Italian numbering


Japanese manga artist Tsukasa Hojo has been one of the most influential writers from 1980's and 90's. His first manga to catch the eye of the public was entitled Cat's Eye. A series that featured three sisters who operate a café during the day, and worked as thieves during the night: their father has disappeared and they are trying to recollect his art work to decode a message. The second manga was City Hunter, whose two main characters you can see in the picture. The story talks about Ryo Saeba, a sweeper in Tokyo, whose partner Hideyuki Makimura dies and afterwards he takes in his sister Kaori. The two fall in love, however Ryo denies all of his feelings. All of this because he wants a better life for Kaori: being private investigators, assassins for hire isn't every father's dream for their children. To understand the picture you need to understand one character: Ryo. He keeps pushing Kaori away and acting as if she was the last person on the planet he could ever be attracted to. That is why on the picture you see her as a sex symbol as she hugs herself and pushes her breasts up a bit. Yet Ryo keeps staring at his lighter. He is a big time smoker, so the lighter is one of the few accessories that is never missing from his pocket. You can also see that a light shines on Kaori, while Ryo stands in the shadow. This is because unlike Ryo, she still has a chance for a better life, while being brought up among soldiers on the battlefield - there is really nothing else he can do as a profession. The picture also recreates Kaori's feeling of being completely alone while there is someone standing right next to her.

In 1991 City Hunter ended and even though plenty of animation shorts have been created since by other artists, it wasn't until 2001 that Hojo decided to continue the series with a little twist. This was Angel Heart: set in an alternate universe where Kaori dies and her heart is transplanted into a young girl, Shan In. She has the same past as Ryo, being brought up as an assassin, but she wants to get out of this lifestyle. Ryo adopts her so Kaori's heart stays near him and he gives a chance for Shan In to have a life where she is surrounded by family instead of assassins.

Manga artists have fantastic skills and their drawings are often collected into illustration books once a chronicle ends. Three complete books by Tsukasa Hojo containing City Hunter art have been published. These contain drawings and paintings made during and for the manga series - as well as the cover artwork. People don't even think about the incredible work that goes into creating cover art. "Don't judge a book by it's cover." Well, everyone does and manga artists have to make sure to come up with something that will raise interest in everyone when they get onto the shelf of a newsstand. I believe that this image would catch the eye of everyone and gratify the readers who followed the story from the beginning.

I am huge comic book geek (as you can find out from my blog of movie reviews: ), however City Hunter is my absolutely favorite manga of all time. It has the most charismatic characters ever drawn on paper and some of the best adventures. I also love detective stories and these are spiced with romantic features just enough to satisfy the female, without losing the male audience. I think of it as a classic, and so far everything categorized as such is considered to be excellent. Trust me: this manga qualifies perfectly. Susan Csorba

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Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890)


Vincent van Gogh is one of the most famous artists in the world and he is known as an archetypal “tortured artist” because he was highly emotional and lacked self-confidence.

Van Gogh was born in Groot-Zundert, Holland on March 30, 1853. He was raised in a religious family and his father was a minister. When his school ended, Vincent followed his uncle’s profession and became an art dealer, learning the trade in Holland and then working in England and France. Vincent was successful and initially happy with his work. However, he soon grew tired of the business of art, especially in Paris, and lost interest in the trade. After returning home, Vincent began to study theology. But although he was intelligent – he was able to speak multiple languages – and also very passionate and enthusiastic, he failed some crucial exams to enter important programs. During this period, he worked as a missionary in a coal mining community living with hard working poor common people. He found less and less interest in preaching but rather he found it in those around him. His life as an artist was beginning.

In 1880, at 27 years old, Van Gogh entered the Académie Royale des Beaux-Arts in Brussels, Belgium. The following winter, living in Amsterdam, Vincent fell in love, had his heart broken, and began painting with not much more success than he had in his love life.

Van Gogh’s Potato Eaters, his first major work, was painted in 1885. By this time, he was still having difficulty finding love, but was beginning to receive interest in his paintings. Unfortunately, as would be his entire life, his paintings were still difficult to sell. His brother Theo, an art dealer, commented that there should be more colour in his work. Van Gogh was painting peasants and rural landscapes using dark earth tones. Around this same time, Impressionism, with its bright vivid colours, was becoming popular.

The next year, Vincent moved to Paris where his art began to take on the style that would make him famous. In Paris, he was discussing art with some of the most avant-garde and influential artists of his time – painters like Gauguin, Bernard, and Toulouse-Lautrec. His new style was closer to post-impressionism: he was using more colour, applying the paint with thick, bold brushstrokes, and painted all that surrounded him and also he invested the objects in their paintings with significance and symbolism. Van Gogh arranged to show his work, to positive reviews, but was still unable to sell any pieces.

One of Van Gogh’s dreams as an artist was to start a colony for artists in Arles in the south of France. Vincent moved to Arles where he was joined by Gauguin. While there, Van Gogh entered the most productive and creative period of his life painting his famous Sunflowers. The Sunflowers series consists of 11 paintings and they are probably the most popular now and Van Gogh was most proud of these too. The first four depicted sunflowers just lying on the table and the others were in vases and this painting is the third version of the composition with the vases. It’s in Musée d'Orsay. It says 12 sunflowers but in actuality it’s 15 or 16.

Yellow, for him, was an emblem of happiness – in Dutch literature, the sunflower was a symbol of devotion and loyalty. In their various stages of decay, these flowers also remind us of the cycle of life and death. And despite the fact that this was a very unfortunate period in his life because the first signs of his mental illness were beginning to show, in my opinion these paintings tell us that he did have happy episodes during these times, and the colours and the dynamic brushstrokes are proof of this.

After just ten years of painting and producing some 900 paintings, Vincent van Gogh took his own life in 1890. He was never fully appreciated in his own time but within twenty years of his death, there were memorial shows of his works all over the world – influencing generations of artists to come.

As the final word, I chose this painting because I loved that episode of Doctor Who where the Doctor and Amy go to see Van Gogh and in the end he paints this picture for Amy because she liked the sunflowers in the garden. Lili Szendrei


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Memorial of the Revolution of 1956, Budapest

The Memorial of the Revolution of 1956 is placed on the square that is named after the revolution. It was built in 2006, for the 50th anniversary of the event. There was a competition with about 80 competitors in it, and from their works was chosen the one that we can see today. The winner of the competition was the ’y-ipszilon’ group, that consists of three artists.

It contains 2006 metal posts. These are made from iron. They form a wedge, and some of the posts are rusty (the rust is only painted on them) but by the top of the wedge the posts become more and more shiny.

The memorial is very symbolic. The number of the post may refer to the 50th anniversary of the revolution. Another interesting fact is that the wedge forms an angle of 56 degrees, referring to the date of the revolution. It is also important that on the square, exactly where the memorial stands, there used to be a statue of Stalin that was destroyed during the revolution. Eszter Filep



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Žižkov Television Tower, Prague

The Žižkov Television Tower is a unique transmitter tower built in the middle of Prague between 1985 and 1992. It was designed by the Czech architect Václav Aulický and Jiří Kozák a well known structural engineer who was an expert of static iron constructions. The tower is situated in the district of Zizkov and is an example of high-tech architecture.

High-tech architecture, also known as Late Modernism or Structural Expressionism, is an architectural style that emerged in the 1970s, incorporating elements of high-tech industry and technology into building design. They included the prominent display of the building's technical and functional components, the structure and the use of pre-fabricated elements. Glass walls and steel frames were also immensely popular. One well known high- tech building is the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

The Zizkov Television Tower weighs 11,800 tons and with its 216 meters it is the highest tower in Prague. It is also a member of the World Federation of Great Towers. In addition to this the tower is used as a metrological observatory too.

The unconventional design of the tower resembles a rocket launch pad! It consists of three concrete pillars, of which one extends higher the other two to provide the necessary height for the antennae. There are three levels of pods on the pillars; each level is built of three pods. The pillars are equipped with elevators to provide fast and convenient access to the pods.

Only the highest pods are not accessible to the public; they are used only for transmitting equipment. The equipment and the previously mentioned antennae provide a good quality digital signal for eleven television and 8 radio stations.

There’s been a reconstruction programme launched in which the 2 lower pods got modernised and finally reopened in the beginning of 2012. However, the project has not finished yet. According to the plans the surrounding park is going to provide space for a mini golf course, a beer bar, a children’s playground and an atrium.

The middle pods, which are situated at 93 meters, serve as observation rooms; they provide a 360 degree panoramic view of Prague and the surrounding area. The rooms have been equipped with suspension seats: the so-called bubble chairs, where visitors can listen to different sounds and noises of the metropolis. Sounds like the clatters of the tram or the murmur of the river Vltava.

The lowest pods at 63 meters have different functions. One of them is a restaurant, another one functions as a Café bar, and for the more demanding clients the third server as a mini hotel.

In the year 2000, sculptures by Czech artist David Černý of crawling babies were temporarily attached to the tower's pillars. The sculptures were admired by many people; therefore they were permanently reattached in 2001.

Having said this, there was a survey conducted, where people could vote for the ugliest building in the world, and the Zizkov television tower got the second place. The tower’s architect Aulicky, when questioned about the outcome of the survey, said he is not happy with it; but as long as the Pompidou Centre in Paris is in the 4th place, his tower is in a good company. Gergely Szekfű



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Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1647–1652)

Ecstasy of Saint Teresa

Marble, 150 cm (59 in)

Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome


Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680) was an Italian artist who worked mainly in Rome. He was the leading sculptor of his age and also a prominent architect. In addition he painted, wrote plays, and designed metalwork and stage sets. He was also a deeply religious man. He used light as an important metaphorical device in the perception of his religious settings, often using hidden light sources that could intensify the focus of religious worship, or enhance the dramatic moment of a sculptural narrative. Moreover, he was a leading figure in the emergence of Roman Baroque architecture.

In 1621, at the age of only twenty three, he was knighted by Pope Gregory XV while Urban VIII is reported to have said, "Your luck is great to see Cardinal Maffeo Barberini Pope, Cavaliere; but ours is much greater to have Cavalier Bernini alive in our pontificate."

Among his more well-known sculptures are Apollo and Daphne, capturing the moment when Daphne turns into a tree; Aeneas, Anchises, and Ascanius, depicting the three stages of the life of man; and David, catching the moment before David goes into battle.

The Ecstasy of Saint Teresa (alternatively Saint Teresa in Ecstasy or Transverberation of Saint Teresa) is the central sculptural group in white marble set in an elevated aedicule in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Rome. It is generally considered to be one of the sculptural masterpieces of the High Roman Baroque. The two central sculptural figures of the swooning nun and the angel with the spear derive from an episode described by Teresa of Avila. The group is illuminated by natural light which filters through a hidden window in the dome of the surrounding aedicule, and underscored by gilded stucco rays. Teresa is shown lying on a cloud indicating that this is intended to be a divine apparition we are witnessing. Her experience of religious ecstasy in her encounter with the angel is described as follows:

“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron's point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.”

I chose this sculpture because I found the way it was crafted absolutely fascinating. The rapture on Teresa’s face is beautifully captured as well as her clothes. Another point I like about her clothes is that it is made in a flowing pattern which makes us question how a single man can  make something so lively out of something as rigid as stone. Another feature I like is the way Teresa and the angle are situated. The first part which catches are eyes is Teresa’s head, her face, after which we are lead downwards along her clothes to the lower left side where there is already the figure of angel bringing us back to the top of the sculptural group. After that we are led to the third main part of the statue, the golden arrow, which points back to Teresa thus making the circle complete. All these features made this sculpture for me one of the most fascinating ever created with its sensuality and the skill with which it was made. Evelin Koller



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The Basque Health Department, Bilbao

The Basque Health Department in Bilbao, Spain was built by architects from Coll and Barreu Architectos, namely Juan Coll-Barreu & Daniel Gutiérrez Zarza. The building took place from 2004-2008, and was intended to be a response to the restrictive building code, catching the eye with its folded façade. Also, it has a double skin, because it has a uniform rectangular structure, but the outer part is formed by an origami style glass arrangement, which has the appearance of a piece of paper that was crumpled and then reopened.

Also, due to its uneven shape, it seems that the corner of the streets actually has something that is living, something more human. It feels like this building is breathing. In addition, you cannot  store its shape in your mind, because the glass is placed in irregular angles, so each time you look at it, it seems like you are seeing a different shape. Practically, what you see depends on your position, the time of the day and the season.

As the architects say, there is “a very effective mechanism for the integration of urban vitality in the interior of the building.” What it implies is that the building offers multiple visual directions from the inside not only to the streets, but also from the upper floors to the surrounding landscape.

Apart from its breath-taking sight, it also has practical benefits, because this double structure is very energy efficient; there is no need for air-conditioning, as radiation is reduced, and also the noise from outside is noticeably reduced. 

And a few words about the interior: The building spreads over a total floor area of 9,200 sq m. It has seven floors for offices, meeting rooms in the tower, an auditorium with 150 seats in the basement, and 3 underground levels for parking.

Its magnificent and very environment friendly design makes it unique among the world’s most beautiful buildings as well as the main tourist attraction in Bilbao. Anett Totiván



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Budapest (2006)

Cowparade is an exhibition of life sized cow statues in central venues of cities. It is the largest and most successful public art event in the world. It has been staged in 75 cities since 1999. These cities included New York (2000), Dublin( 2003), London (2002), Tokyo (2003), Mexico City (2005), Rome (2010), Paris (2006), and Budapest as well. The public display of the cows lasts from 2 to 4 months. Then comes the live auction which lasts for 2 or 3 weeks. An average event has 75 to 150 statues. The main goal of Cowparade, besides the popularization of art, is to raise money for charity, by selling the statues to collectors. Artists are called to the event in the forum of a competition. Usually there is a separate competition for children and schools as well. The artists have to send their portfolios to the organizers and after that they are selected by the sponsors of the exhibition.

It is a widely popular exhibition. Over 300 million people from 32 countries have seen at least one Cowparade exhibit. There are more than 5000 cows. They are made of fire-retardant fiberglass and within them have a steel rebar for reinforcement. They come in three basic positions: standing, grazing, and reclining. Of course there are special ones like my favourite, the melting ice-cream cow. Damaged cows are taken to the cow-hospital where they get repaired by the crew.

I've chosen Cowparade because I think it is a nice, funny, harmless and creative way of conveying ideas to the public. I have my own favourite cow, but I haven't chosen a particular one as I think the beauty of this exhibition lies in its variety. Máté Müller




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The Eiffel Tower (1887-1889)

Paris, France

Contruction plan by Gustave Eiffel

Photo by: Halák András László (2009)

The Eiffel Tower is one of the biggest pieces of art ever built by man. It was constructed for the 100th anniversary of the French Revolution for the World's Fair (Exposition Universelle). It is 320m high and it was the tallest man-made building for 41 years, until the Chrysler Building in 1930 was finished in New York. However, when an extra antenna was added onto the tower, it became the tallest again.

The Tower has been subject to controversy, as some found it quite ugly, while today it has become a national symbol for France. It is quite interesting that originally the building permit was only for 20 years, which means that in 1909 it was supposed to be torn down. However, thankfully for us, the Tower's height proved to be an aid during the first World War as the French were able to jam German communications with it.

The tower weighs a total of 10,000 tons, with a 7,300 tons of steel underground to keep it up straight. Every 2 to 3 years it is renovated with 50 to 60 tonnes of paint to keep it from rust.

This is one of my favorite buildings in the whole world. I had the fortune to see it twice in real life and it still takes my breathe away. During a school trip back in 2009, we went up to the top and we blew bubbles and just stared at this amazing city around us. It is really an incredible experience. The mere thought of man being able to construct something so humoungus and almost fantastical makes one believe in their dreams. And really, what else do we need?

Susan Csorba



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Japanes Figures

There are four popular types of Japanese figures which are worth knowing if you are interested in them. First, there are the ones made out of PVC, called scale figures. Scale means the size of the figure compared to its real life size. Well, not exactly real life but what size they would be if they were real. The most common scale is 1/8, it’s one-eighth of what it would be IRL, but for example there are 1/5 figures too and they are much bigger since it’s only one-fifth of a person. They make mostly Japanese anime or game characters but there are some Western ones too, like Good Smily Company’s Bishoujo series which features Western superheroines from comic books.

Another type is called figma which is basically like a more detailed action figure, so that you can move its parts like its limbs and head. They usually come with several accessories and changeable faces.

The third is called nendoroid. Nendoroids depict the characters in super deformed style, like big head and small body which makes them look cuter.

The fourth type is rather an odd one out but I included it because it is the most interesting. The former three are made by companies but sometimes individuals can make figures too; these are the garage kits. Some make them from scratch but you can also buy these garage kits and you have to paint them and assemble them.

The process of making figures is usually the same for every type. A person designs it then they make the prototype version, they paint it and if everything is fine then they manufacture the parts in China, they also paint it there, assemble it and then box it.

They vary widely in price but an average scale figure costs about 6-8 thousand yen which equals approximately 19 thousand forint. Figmas and nendoroids are usually a bit cheaper. There are also exclusive figures, which are more expensive due to the fact that most of the time they are limited editions. Or you can buy really cheap ones from lottery machines in Japan but they are very poorly made.

Most companies think that their target audience is is only men so they usually make female characters into figures (sometimes with very revealing clothing) or really popular male characters but this misconception is starting to change and more and more male figures are appearing on the market.

They can be bought in shops or at festivals in Japan, or for foreigners they are available at local retailers or through online shops. I usually buy them online because it’s cheaper that way.

I am interested in figures because I think they are beautiful, they are very good for decoration and I like having my favourite characters on my shelf in miniature form.  It’s better to keep them in a glass case though because they get dusty easily. Lili Szendrei



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Anish Kapoor (1954- )

Cloud Gate or "The Bean" (2004-2006)

polished stainless steel public sculpture, 10×20×13 m

AT&T Plaza, Millenium Park, Chicago, Illinois, US


Anish Kapoor (Mumbai, 1954 -) is an Indian born British sculptor. Because of his Jewish origin he travelled to Israel in 1971 and began to study electrical engineering there. However, he decided to be an artist and left for Britain in 1973. Kapoor has lived and worked in London since then. He attended the Hornsey College of Art and Chelsea School of Art and Design. He also met his role model, Paul Neagu (cubist, abstract sculptor and painter), in London.

Kapoor became known in the 1980s for his geometric or biomorphic sculptures made using simple materials such as granite, limestone, marble and plaster. In 1987, he began working in stone. His themes were often dualities as earth-sky, matter-spirit, body-mind, visible-invisible, and male-female. Since 1995, he has worked with the highly reflective surface of polished stainless steel. The works are mirror-like, reflecting or distorting the viewer and surroundings. He produced works of extreme size which are partly architectural projects, as “Taratantara” (35 meters tall, 1999) or “Marsyas” (320 m2, 2002) or “Sky Mirror”. Anish Kapoor won several prizes, among them in 1991 the prestigious Turner prize. In 1999, he was elected to the royal Academy and in 2003 he was made a Commander of the British Empire. In September 2009, Kapoor was the first living artist to have a solo exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts. In 2012, he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India's third highest civilian honour.

CLOUD GATE or “The Bean” (2004-2006), Kapoor’s first public outdoor work, is what made him internationally popular. It is the centerpiece of AT&T Plaza in Millenium Park of Chicago, Illinois. The bean- shaped sculpture’s surface reflects and distorts the city’s skyline. Kapoor was inspired by liquid mercury. It was selected on a design competition. The cost for the piece was $23 million. No public funds were involved; all funding came from donations from individuals and corporations.

The British engineering firm Atelier One and freelance engineer Chris Hornzee-Jones provided the sculpture's structural design and Performance Structures, Inc. (PSI) was chosen to fabricate it. The shell was unpolished and thus unfinished for the grand opening of Millennium Park on July 15, 2004. The sculpture was officially unveiled on May 15, 2006. Kapoor's contract states that the constructed piece should be expected to survive for 1,000 years. The lower 1.8 m is wiped down twice a day by hand, while the entire sculpture is cleaned twice a year with 40 U.S. gallons of liquid detergent. Cloud Gate is made up of 168 stainless steel plates (each 10 mm thick and weighing 450 to 910 kg) welded together; its highly polished exterior has no visible seams. It is 10 by 20 by 13 m, and weighs 100 tons. On the underside is the "omphalos" (Greek for "navel"), a concave chamber that warps and multiplies reflections. The apex of the omphalos is 8.2 m above the ground.

Critical reviews describe the sculpture as a passage between realms. Three-quarters of the sculpture's external surface reflects the sky and the name refers to it acting as a type of gate that helps bridge the space between the sky and the viewer.  Cloud Gate has become a popular piece of public art, and is now a fixture on many souvenirs such as postcards, sweatshirts and posters; and attracted a large number of tourists from around the world. The New York Times describes the piece as a "tourist magnet" and an "extraordinary art object", while Chicago art critic Edward Lifson considers Cloud Gate to be among the greatest pieces of public art in the world.

I chose this piece of art because I adore the idea of involving the public into art (interaction), and also the idea of connecting modernity with nature and calling the attention to details, as the sky in a city like Chicago. Farkas Eszter



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Cristo Redentor

Cristo Redentor – Christ, the Redeemer. That is the name of the most famous sculpture of Jesus Christ watching over Rio de Janeiro from the Corcovado Mountain. I chose this statue as my contribution to the exhibition because I think its position is a great symbol of how Jesus is watching over people.

The idea of the statue originates from the 1850s when Pedro Maria Boss, the Catholic priest of Rio requested funds from Princess Isabel in order to build a religious monument. His request, however, was denied and a similar one in the 1880s was not successful, either. Finally, a 1921 plan by Heitor da Silva Costa was accepted, and the Cristo Redentor was started to be built in the next year. The Polish-French sculptor, Paul Landowski finished his work in 1931. In 2006, at the 75th anniversary of the opening of the statue, a chapel was built under it which is now a popular place for Brazilian Catholics to get married or get their children baptized.

The statue is 39.6 m high with which it is the 5th largest Christ-statue of the world but the oldest among the top 5 by far. It is made of reinforced concrete, while the outer layer consists of soapstone. Due to its position, the statue is susceptible to harm caused by bad weather. The last major storm struck the Cristo Redentor in 2008 after which its face and fingers had to be renovated.  

The statue is depicting Christ with open arms symbolizing peace and acceptance. The way Christ is stretching his arms out, the figure of the statue is cross-like, another important symbol of Christianity. The statue is not only important for Christians, though, but for all Brazilians. A good example for this is how Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro commented on the graffiti sprayed on the statue as a “crime against the nation.” Dávid Koczó



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"LEGOtm is a popular line of construction toys manufactured by The Lego Group, a privately held company based in Billund, Denmark. The company's most famous product, Lego, consists of colorful interlocking plastic bricks and an accompanying array of gears, minifigures and various other parts. Lego bricks can be assembled and connected in many ways, to construct such objects as vehicles, buildings, and even working robots. Anything constructed can then be taken apart again, and the pieces used to make other objects. Lego began manufacturing interlocking toy bricks in 1949, since which a global Lego subculture has developed, supporting movies, board- and video games, accessories, competitions, and six themed amusement parks. Lego now has many licensed themes, mostly cartoon and film franchises. For example, Batman, , Cars, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean,  Star Wars, Toy Story, etc.

The story started in Ole Kirk Christiansen's workshop. He was a  carpenter from Billund, Denmark, and he began making wooden toys in 1932. By 1934, his company name became  "Lego", from the Danish phrase 'leg godt', which means "play well". In the beginning, there were many problems with the materials. Wood was not the best choice for toys that were meant to be used forever. After a complicated period with lots of troubles and experiments, finally, the company expanded to producing plastic toys in 1947. In 1949 Lego began producing the now famous interlocking bricks, calling them "Automatic Binding Bricks".

The Lego Group's motto is that "only the best is the best" (more literally "the best is never too good"). This motto was created by the creator Ole Kirk to encourage his employees never to skimp on quality, a value he believed in strongly. The motto is still used within the company today. By 1951 plastic toys accounted for half of the Lego Company?s output, although a lot of people questioned its right of existence. In the early 1950s, many people felt that plastic would never be able to replace traditional wooden toys. But it has changed. In 1958, the modern brick design was developed, and it took another five years to find the right material for it, ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) polymer. The modern Lego brick was patented on 28 January 1958, and bricks from that year are still compatible with current bricks.

Since the 1960s, the Lego Group has released thousands of sets with a variety of themes, including town and city, space, robots, pirates, trains, Vikings, castle,dinosaurs, undersea exploration, and wild west. While there are sets which can be seen to have a military theme ? such as Star Wars, the German and Russian soldiers in the Indiana Jones sets, the Toy Story green soldiers and Lego Castle ? there are no directly military-themed sets in any line. The reason is that Ole Kirk Christiansen's policy did not want to make war seem like child's play. There are some subcategories of Lego, just as DUPLO for younger generations (larger bricks) and Technic for the older generations (it was launched in 1977).

Lego pieces of all varieties comprise a universal system. Despite variation in the design and purpose of individual pieces over the years, each remains compatible in some way with existing pieces. Lego bricks from 1958 still interlock with those made in the current time, and
each Lego piece must be manufactured to an exacting degree of precision. When two pieces are engaged they must fit firmly, yet be easily disassembled. The machines that make Lego bricks have tolerances as small as 10 micrometers.
Primary concept and development work takes place at the Billund headquarters, where the company employs approximately 120 designers. The average development period for a new product is around twelve months, in three stages. The first stage is to identify market trends and developments, including contact by the designers directly with the market; some are stationed in toy shops close to holiday periods, while others interview children. The second stage is the design and development of the product based upon the results of the first stage. Since 2008 the design teams use 3D modeling software to generate CAD drawings from initial design sketches. The designs are then prototyped using an in-house stereolithography machine.  Precision is one of the most important things concerning Lego. According to the Lego Group, about eighteen bricks out of every million fail to meet the standard required.  Manufacturing of Lego bricks occurs at a number of locations around the world. Molding is done in Billund, Denmark; Nyíregyháza, Hungary; and Monterrey, Mexico. Brick decorations and packaging is done in Denmark, Hungary, Mexico and Kladno in the Czech Republic.

I chose Lego for my presentation because I like it since I was a child. In my opinion it helps children and creative minds to make their dreams and imagination come true; moreover, they can make infinite experiments since there is going to be a new design all the time. In addition, it helps the brain solve problems through creating something out of nothing. I think it is due in part to the high standards set by Ole Kirk. Thanks to him, I had an outstanding childhood full of amazing experiences with Lego."  Adam Bata



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Edgar Müller

Mysterious Cave

Edgar Müller (often transliterated Mueller), is one of the world’s top 3D illusionist street painters. He is also one of the best known, thanks to his youtube videos.

Müller went to high school in Geldern, where an international competition for street painters took place every year. At the age of 16, he decided to enter the competition. He won when he was 19 years old with a copy of a famous Caravaggio painting. Since 1998, he has won many other international competitions and he has held the “Master Street Painter” title. Around the age of 25, he decided to devote himself completely to street painting. He travelled all around Europe, making a living with his transitory art. He has worked at different schools and he has been co-organizer/committee member for various street painting festivals.

Müller is always looking for new forms through which he can express himself. He uses the street as a canvas. He paints over large areas of urban public life and gives them a new appearance thereby challenging the perceptions of passers-by. His technique stretches hundreds of square meters over the pavement, allowing people to interact and literally get inside the image.

The technique itself is called anamorphism and it has been known since the Middle Ages. It was used by famous painters like Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci. Oblique anamorphosis is closely related to an artistic technique called trompe l’oeil. (It’s a French expression for “deceiving the eyes”.) Both use perspective constructions to create a “trick” image but the difference lies in the nature of the trick. For an anamorphosis, the viewer is presented with something that does not make sense when it’s viewed conventionally. For trompe l’oeil, the viewer, standing in a conventional place is tricked into seeing an invented image as if it was reality. Bernadett Vezse



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Cipők a Duna-parton (2005)

(English translation: Shoes on the Danube Promenade)

Created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay

Photo by Nikodem Nijaki

The Shoes on the Danube Promenade is a memorial on the bank of the Danube in Budapest. It honours the Jews who were killed by fascist Arrow Cross militiamen in Budapest during World War II. The memorial was created by Gyula Pauer and Can Togay. Gyula Pauer was a prominent figure of Hungarian fine arts; he was awarded the Kossuth Prize as a sculptor. Can Togay, also known as Can Togay János, (1955 –) is a Hungarian film director, screenwriter, poet, producer, and cultural manager.

The memorial is located on the Pest side of the Danube Promenade, near the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, between Roosevelt square and Kossuth square. There are three plaques around the composition, with the following text in Hungarian, English, and Hebrew: "To the memory of the victims shot into the Danube by Arrow Cross militiamen in 1944–45. Erected 16 April 2005." It was erected on the Hungarian Holocaust Memorial Day, which commemorates the date (April 16, 1944) when the Hungarian Jewish community was forced into ghettos for the first time.

The Jewish people were ordered to take off their shoes, and were shot at the edge of the water so that their bodies fell into the river and were carried away. The memorial represents their shoes left behind on the bank. The sculptor created sixty pairs of period-appropriate shoes out of iron which are attached to the stone embankment. The location of the composition is only symbolic, because this procedure was done almost all along the river bank in Budapest.

To tell you the truth, I am not really fascinated by sculptures, but I like those which are symbolic and which make me think. In this case, you see sixty pairs of shoes, but it starts triggering a flow of thoughts about what you have learned about the World War II, the Holocaust, maybe what your grandmother or grandfather told you about this era. All in all, I think it’s an immensely powerful representation of a horrific era which is carved into our history.   Nóra Takács





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Ernő Rubik

Rubik's Cube, 1974

The Rubik’s Cube was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and inventor, Ernő Rubik. The toy’s original name was “The Magic Cube”. In 1980, it won the German Game of the Year award in “Best Puzzle” category, and the name was changed to Rubik’s Cube at the same year.

The cube has 6 faces with 9, colored stickers on each face. The sides measure 5.7 cm each, and the colors of the stickers on a traditional Rubik’s Cube are: white, red, yellow, blue, orange, and green. The puzzle has 43 quintillion possible configurations, but only one solution. It took the inventor Ernő Rubik 1 month to solve the first cube that he invented.

By 2009, 350 million cubes were sold worldwide, making Rubik’s invention the world’s best selling toy. Solving it the “regular” way keeps most people puzzled for months, years, or even decades, but there are also alternative solving competitions organized by the “World Cube Association” since 2003. Alternative solving competitions include: speed cubing, blindfolded, underwater, one hand, and solving by feet.

In addition to the cube, Rubik also invented his 360 toy, which is a globe shaped puzzle, that requires logic and skill as well, yet it is unlikely that the 360 will ever become as popular as the cube.   Eszter Tóth



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Imre Varga (1923-):

Várakozók, 1986

Imre Varga is a Hungarian sculptor born in 1923, in Siófok. He graduated from what is known today as the Hungarian Academy/University of Fine Arts in 1956. He held his first exhibition in 1967, later on he participated in various international exhibitions. Although he might not have become a household name, he received such honours as the Kossuth Prize and the Herder Prize (one previously awarded to two Eastern-European scientists or artists each year as recognition for their contribution to the culture etc. of the region) among others.  More than 300 of his works has been placed in public areas, churches etc. in Hungary as well as abroad, for example, in France, Germany, Poland, Belgium, Norway, and Israel. Numerous portrait statues can be linked to him, some of them depicting famous poets.

The sculpture, or the set of sculptures, to be more precise, is to be found in Óbuda (III. district), Budapest, and was placed there in 1986. Depicting four ladies standing next to each other, clutching on to their umbrellas, the statue does not seem to be anything disturbing, or something that is more than meets the eye. It is usually the locals who know the story behind it: the women are there to work, are waiting for their clients. It is believed to have been inspired by the sculptor’s own recollections of seeing the street women in Paris’s famous (or infamous) Quartier Pigalle, which is partly renowned for the prostitutes working there. Also, local poet Gyula Krúdy, who often described the situation of vulnerable women in his works, might have been an influence.

My decision of presenting this set does not stem from my particular love for sculptures, but rather from my attachment to the region where I live. I somehow feel connected to this piece because it is far from being a touristy sight, is not overhyped, and there is a bit of an air of mystery surrounding it. It would always be there, and yet I never really felt like looking at it more carefully, I had no idea it had anything to say, let alone saying something deeper and more serious. It fascinates me a lot how things we are close to might not strike us, and might seem insignificant, and will not evoke any deeper thoughts or feelings for a long while, and how this attitude can change suddenly, for seemingly no particular reason. Dóra Galambosi



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Sarah Winchester (1839-1922)

The Winchester House, 1884-1922

The story of the Winchester Mansion starts with Sarah Pardee, who was born in 1839 and lived in New Haven, Connecticut. Although she was only 4 feet 10 inches, she was known for her beauty and her sparkling personality. In 1862, she married William Winchester, the heir of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company; and this is where the story actually begins.

Her husband’s company had developed the repeating rifle, a gun that was easy to reload and fired rapidly, at a rate of one shot every three seconds. The rifle was used by Northern troops in the Civil War and was also known as “the gun that won the West”.

The young couple started a family in 1866, but unfortunately their daughter Annie died in infancy. 15 years later Mr. Winchester died of tuberculosis. This was a huge trauma for Mrs. Winchester, and distraught over these losses, she visited a medium for spiritual guidance. The medium told her that the Winchester family had been struck by a terrible curse and it was haunted by the ghosts of all those killed by the Winchester rifle. She also told her that the only way to appease the ghosts was to build a house for them. There was another strange request that the medium conveyed; never stop building the house or else she would die.

Mrs. Winchester willingly followed the instructions and she bought a six-room farmhouse in California. She started to build the house in 1884 and this task occupied her until her death in 1922. So, although it was built for 34 years and she had construction going on 24 hours a day, the house was never completely finished. Mrs. Winchester served as her own architect, every morning she presented her plans to the construction workers with own hand-drawn sketches and told them what was to be done. Sometimes she didn’t care what she built; it was possible that the crew constructed a room for a month and a few weeks later she ordered them to destroy it. She had enough money and she paid well, so no one disputed her instructions. Mrs. Winchester inherited 20 million dollars and half of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company, so her daily income was about 1.000 dollars to spend on her house.

From the outside, the house looks like a quite normal, Victorian mansion. The garden is full of interesting statues; a deer, a faun or even the Greek goddess Demeter can be found here. Besides the statues there are beautiful fountains as well with a wide range of mythological characters like Cupid, cherubs and a Hippocampus.

Going inside, it gets even stranger and more interesting than the exterior, thanks to the odd construction of the house. Doors may open onto walls, there are stairways going to nowhere (they reach the ceiling and just stop) and we can also find windows on the floor. There is a closet door in the second floor séance room that opens onto a first-floor sink several feet below. The useless stairs might have a simple explanation; they were likely a part of the original farmhouse, and she just simply covered them up (she usually covered up her mistakes by just continuing to build around them).

Interesting numbers can be mentioned related to the house. It consists of approximately 160 rooms, but this number is not certain since people kept getting lost when they tried to count them. The mansion has 47 fireplaces, 17 chimneys (most of them are useless and serves no purpose), there are 2 basements, 6 kitchens, 10.000 windows and 476 doorways. Mrs. Winchester also had an obsession with the number 13; many things installed in the home feature 13 of something. There are 13 window panes, 13 wall panels, 13 sections of flooring, 13 stairs in each staircase, 13 bathrooms and 13 holes in every sink. As another interesting fact to mention, there is a storeroom full of expensive windows, wallpapers and furnishings that Mrs. Winchester never actually used.

After her death in 1922, the house was sold to a group of investors who wanted to create a tourist attraction, and soon after started a successful investment. The Winchester Mystery House is open daily, with the exception of Christmas Day. With the help of the new e-Ticket service, anyone can simply choose a day and time and reserve their place online.

I chose this building because I am interested in anything that is odd, strange or extraordinary somehow. Gina Dombai




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Christopher Wren

The Monument

The Monument stands in Monument Street off Fish Street Hill in the City of London. It was built between 1671 and 1677, to commemorate the Great Fire of London and to celebrate the rebuilding of the City.

The Fire began in a baker's house in Pudding Lane on Sunday 2nd of September 1666 and was finally extinguished on Wednesday 5th of September, after destroying the greater part of the City. Although there was little loss of life, the fire brought all activity to a halt, having consumed or severely damaged thousands of houses, hundreds of streets, the City's gates, public buildings, churches and St Paul's Cathedral. The only buildings to survive were those that were built of stone, such as The Guildhall.

 As part of the rebuilding, it was decided to erect a permanent memorial to the Great Fire near the place where it began. Sir Christopher Wren Surveyor General to King Charles II and architect of St Paul's Cathedral, and his friend and colleague, Dr Robert Hooke, provided a design for a colossal Doric column in the antique tradition. They drew up plans for a column containing a cantilevered stone staircase of 311 steps leading to a viewing platform, 160 feet (48.7metres) above the ground. This was surmounted by a drum and a copper urn from which flames emerged, symbolising the Great Fire. It is remarkably the tallest free-standing stone column in the world. The Monument, as it came to be called, is 202 feet (61metres) high - the exact distance between it and the site in Pudding Lane where the fire began.

My personal reason to chose it was the great experience that involved the sight of this wonderful column. As I have referred to it in class, I was lucky enough to be part of a group that travelled to London in 2009 because of a project meeting where we were brought together with Finnish, Spanish and English students. Apart from administrative and introductory work, we also had the chance in the few days of our stay to take a good look at certain sights which gave us the opportunity to get acquainted with the Monument. Now, I can proudly say that I did climb the 311 steps leading to the top of it and I can certainly prove this by an official certificate that is given to every single person at the entrance who goes up and walks down. Furthermore, I must mention that the city of London itself made a great imprint on my life -thanks to the 3 visits I had there- in a way that it simply became my favourite international city. György Taragos